Friday, March 28, 2014

Waiting for the Internet

My dear man has gone to Orillia today for his aunt's funeral and I am staying here in case we have another drip.  So far today everything has been fine.  It has been raining fairly steadily all day so that should reduce the snow and, hopefully, melt some of the ice that is causing problems on the roof.
I have quite a bit done on my latest quilt.  I cut up the fabric and am now sewing the blocks.  I like the new fabric that I bought yesterday much better.
Hubby will be home in time for supper so I am going to stop everything shortly and make a couple of tea loaves before starting the meal.  I want to make a pumpkin loaf and another of zucchini.  Nice to have with our tea breaks.

I am so looking forward to get my new internet service tomorrow.  It is a real pain having to keep moving the router half a dozen times just to get enough reception to log on or do a search.

Missouri Star quilt Co has another great video.  (  This one uses half square triangles and solves the problem of what I am going to do with all mine.
Have a wonderful weekend.  I am hoping the latest news regarding the possible whereabouts of the Malaysian airplane that is missing is correct.  It has, I am sure, been a long and frustrating wait for the family members of the passengers and crew.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Drip Drip.

I got into town today and bought the fabric I needed for my quilt commission.  It is now in the machine being washed.  I spent about 4 hours buying groceries and doing other shopping as well as driving to the other community where all this took place so, I am now tired.
Neither of us slept well last night as our leak started again and we were concerned in case anything fell on the wood stove.  We left it go out to avoid a problem.  I put an on an extra blanket so I wasn't cold but my husband kept waking up and finally went to sleep on the couch.  I bought some tar today which we hope will solve the problem but, of course, we have to wait until the weather settles down so he can get up on the roof and use it.
Could be worse.  At least we have a home and the roof is intact.
Do you like jigsaw puzzles?  I do them a lot.  Good for the brain.  Here is a link to one in case you have a few minutes and would like to do something different.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fabric Choices.

I started working on my second quilt commission today and then decided I didn't like one of the fabrics.  It is too bright a colour for the rest of the fabrics. I am off to town to shop tomorrow so will stop at the quilt store.  Getting the right fabric is one of the hardest parts of quilting made even more difficult when you live in a rural area.
Husband and I just came back in from getting some fresh air and taking the dog for a walk.  Actually, it was me getting the fresh air as he has already been out doing wood and the dog has been conversing with the neighbour canines a few times.  It is hard to settle on anything indoors, although I did make bread today, because you feel as though you should be outside doing something. A walk does help stave off cabin fever. I keep looking down toward the pond at the back of the bush and wish I could get down there.  Soon, I hope.
I booked my room at the hotel where I am going for a quilt retreat in April.  I am really looking forward to this.  It is my yearly treat.  I will be making a list of items to buy at Len's which, for those of you who don't live in Ontario, is a discount place that sells just about everything including quilt fabric and notions.
Last time I was there I got a small, hand held vacuum cleaner which was wonderful for the sewing machines as well as the computer.
To those of you who live in the Maritimes and are enduring the latest snow bomb; stay indoors and safe. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I have undertaken a few changes today and one may affect you, my reader, so I will tell you of it first.  I have been getting a number of pesky spammers that are pretending to be sending comments on my blog.  The only way to stop them is by changing my settings.  Previously, comments have been open to anyone.  Now, they are restricted to those who are registered as followers.
I hate doing this as I know some of you don't like signing up and having to give out information.  I can offer one alternative:  if you just send me an e mail without using the comment form at the bottom of the blog, that will get through.  I appreciate you taking time to read my blog and then send me a comment.  It is encouraging.  Unfortunately, the world we live in is peppered with some opportunistic people.
My second change is to start acupuncture treatment.  I have always been a big supporter of alternative medical treatment but haven't used this one before.  My whiplash injury has been getting worse and when my doctor suggested acupuncture might work, I went for it.  I had my first treatment today.  My neck still hurts but I have more mobility which is a big plus. I go twice more, each a week apart and am looking forward to seeing the results.
And, my final change is that I decided to switch internet providers.  I have had so much trouble with my current one that when Xplorenet offered a free hook up, I took the step.  The installer comes on Saturday.  I have a 30 day trial period which will give me a chance to see if I like it.

We heard geese this morning.  another positive sign of spring.  As I write this, I can see my husband trying to get the truck unstuck from the snow where he went to get more wood.  Not a sign of spring, unfortunately and frustrating for him.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A New Gadget.

It is such a lovely day I am tempted to have a winter picnic.  What! you've never had a picnic in the winter!  They are just like the summer ones except you dress a bit warmer and stand closer to the campfire.  Hot chocolate replaces lemonade but hot dogs or burgers are still a must.
I decided to pass, however, because I don't think we have enough wood for a fire.  We are scraping the barrel for enough suitable wood for the  stove so I don't think my husband would be happy with me 'wasting' it.
A quilting friend came over to do a quilt on my frame and did a great job.  Almost finished the top in just a few hours.  Unfortunately, with only a couple of more rows to go, she had to leave.  disappointing for her but we don't live that far apart.
I just received a new toy.  I ordered a cover with keyboard for my tablet and it arrived today.  Works perfectly.  I am a happy camper.  The tablet is great but I found tapping away with the stylus to be slow.  I love gadgets.
Do you watch the Missouri Star videos?  The latest is a great scrappy pattern.  It is called the Exploding Block.  If you go to the Missouri Star Quilt Co., you should be able to find it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dancing Anyone

I am gradually getting back to pre mini days.  I just collapsed yesterday and spent the evening staring into space and dozing.  After a good nights sleep, I am ready to get at the next quilt.
I planted some tomato seeds in egg cartons this morning to encourage spring to make an appearance.   If all 36 germinate and survive, I will have a healthy crop come late summer.  I don't think a person can have too many tomatoes.  There is always chili and spaghetti sauce to make and can. I have two accidental plants that are already a good height.  I repotted an aloe vera and there must have been a couple of tomato seeds in the soil.  No buds but they are about 6 inches tall.
We are still getting snow falling.  Doesn't it seem as though spring might decide not to arrive this year?  I won't panic until April.  If we aren't getting noticeably warmer weather and no snow falls by then, I may start recruiting people for a rain dance.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


My mini angels are finished and sent off.  I had a marathon session these past few days and especially
yesterday when a couple of quilting friends came over and helped with the labels and the sleeves that will hold the hangers.  I put in a couple more hours this morning to finish up everything. 
My husband located a suitably sized box and I packed everything.  As we were getting ready to leave, I remembered that I had neglected one very important step-taking some photos.  I have asked the customer to do that for me when she receives the package but, in the meantime, here are the minis without the borders and before the quilting.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Busy Day

Whew, I am bushed.  A couple of quilting friends came over today so I could show them how a frame set up works.  However, before we could get to that, a batting order arrived.  The delivery man got here the same time as my company, while the phone was ringing, the dog going crazy and my husband was in the shower.  Talk about a few minutes of pandemonium!
It took until the early hours of the afternoon getting the order divided up and everyone's costs figured out.  Then I put a practice quilt on the frame for the ladies to try.  After that we put on the one that was going to be quilted by one of the women.  It was too late for her to start that so everyone left, I put supper in the oven and my husband came home from his card game.
I did get a bit more work done on the angels while watching television.  I should have everything finished by next weekend.
I got a call this afternoon for another sewing job.  Not sure I am going to take this one.  I am too busy right now.
Tomorrow is National Quilting Day.  Take your sewing machine out to lunch.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Annoying Pet Owners

My little dog is outside barking at something only she can see. It is her favourite activity but a source of annoyance to me.  After she has been at it for a while and I figure the neighbours are getting as annoyed as I am, I open the door and holler something like "Heidi, you idiot, get in here." I am sure she thinks, 'you idiot' is part of her name!
A barking dog, whether it is mine or belongs to someone else, annoys me.  I used to live in a house that had a barker on either side.  Every evening as I was trying to go to sleep, the dogs would start.  As I had to get up at 4.30, being kept away until midnight didn't make for a happy worker the next day.  Nor was I as alert as a bus driver should be.  I had to report the owners finally.  I didn't like doing it but it was better than injuring someone.  I only hope that the owners didn't get rid of the dogs.  I don't blame the pets.  They are only being true to their nature as is my little one.  It is the owners that aren't living up to their responsibilities.
I have finished the assembly of the mini blocks and am now hand stitching the doves.  I applied them with fusible web but am afraid they will come loose if I don't secure them.  They are to small to sew on the machine so hand stitching is the only other choice.
Had some bad news today.  A long time friend called to let me know her husband passed away yesterday.  He was elderly and in bad health but it was still a shock especially as a relative of mine had also died the same day.  She, too, had been ill for a while although was a lot younger than my friend.  Sad as it is to know they are gone, they were ready. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


We were going to go to a neighbouring village today where there is a small but nice quilt store.  I wanted to see if I could get some fabric that was printed with white birds.  I needed doves for the finishing touch on the angel minis.  However, I ended up drawing the birds and cutting them out of white fabric.  The customer likes them and I think they look good so another step is finished. 
I am going to be well ahead of schedule getting these quilts done which is always nice.  I like to keep at them  because a person never knows what the next day will bring. 
Have you been following the story of the missing airplane.  I keep thinking how dreadful it would be for the family members if they never find out what happened to their loved ones.  I believe the not knowing is the worst because your imagination will always come up with scenarios that are probably worse than reality.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I have just got back from taking the dog for a walk, I have an oven full of baking bread and, outside, the snow is melting.  I heard a crow earlier and the sap is starting to run in the buckets.  Run is an exaggeration right now as it is more of an occasional drip but a drip is still a drip.
The steady plunk of sap hitting the bottom of a metal bucket is vastly more welcome that the sound of water that is still seeping into the studio.  My husband is constantly removing snow and ice from the edge of the roof and, for a while, it works.  Then I notice the towels that are pushed against the wall are, once again, wet.
I am in the odd situation of wanting the snow to melt from the roof as quickly as possible and not wanting a quick thaw because of the danger of flooding to the south of us.  Perhaps a couple of days of above temperatures and then cool again would be my perfect solution.
We had a great day at quilt group yesterday; more laughing than sewing.  I did get a lot of work done on my angel blocks though.  For a bit of was wondering if I was going to have to go home because I got an allergic reaction to something.  I had opened a connecting door because the main room was so warm and shortly after, started sneezing and my nose was running faster than the water from the roof.  It took me a few minutes to connect the two events but, once I closed the door, I started to feel better.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Angel Wings.

What a difference a day makes.  Today, our temperature got up to +6C.  It felt so warm in comparison to what we had been getting that I felt as though I could go outside in my shorts; if they weren't packed away with all the other summer clothes, of course.  I went to the village for World Day of Prayer and one of the streets was flooded.  The works department was busy moving snow from the drains.
I write an events column for our local paper and this evening, I was sent an announcement from the horticultural society for their monthly meeting.  Another sign of spring.

I also solved a quilting problem today and I would like to share that with you in case you are ever doing something similar.  I have previously mentioned that I am making a  number of mini angel quilts for a customer and angels, naturally, have wings.  The majority of the minis have lace wings backed with white fabric.  For them, I ironed the base fabric to fusible web and then sewed the lace on top and trimmed.  However, some of the wings weren't going to have the backing and, since starting the project, I have been pondering how I was going to be able to do them.  I am using lace for curtains so there is a lot of 'non fabric' which makes it difficult to cut out a shape with any accuracy.  Tracing the template would be even more of a problem.  I finally came up with a solution.
I lightly traced the outline of the angel body and wings on the back of the background fabric.  The lace was pinned to the front so it covered the outline.  I then did a close zigzag stitch on the back following the outline and trimmed the lace close to the stitches.  Voila!  lace wings.  They will be completed with silver zigzag over the outline stitches.
I included the angel body in the outline to make sure I had the wings in the right place and it was easier to cut one large piece of fabric to cover the whole area rather than two smaller ones.  I also folded the background fabric in half and finger pressed so I would have a guideline for the outline.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Contest Reminder.

We are having the closest thing to a heat wave that we have experienced since last November.  Our temperature is minus 1 C and the sun is shining.  I took Heidi for a walk and we were able to go part way through the bush by following the trail my husband made.  He was out to one of the wood piles he made last fall and didn't think he would need.  Everyone in this area that heats with wood is running out.  I am glad Roger got a log splitter for his birthday so he can, more easily, get a lot more firewood done for next winter.  I really think the longer, colder winters are going to be more of a norm so we might as well be prepared.  If I am wrong, it won't matter.
I finished 15 of the 25 angel blocks today.  I just have to do the quilting step and add a dove.
My friends little dog died through the night.  I feel so bad for her.  Our furry friends are so much a part of our family and it hurts when they leave us.

A reminder of the contest:  buy one of my patterns from Craftsy and your name will be entered in a draw for a free queen size batting.  If you click on "My Patterns For Sale on the right side of the page, it will take you to Craftsy.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Making an Angel

I am making great progress on my angel mini quilts.  We were out of bread so instead of making my usual 6 loaves, I used the bread maker and did one.  That will keep us until I have most of a day available.  I could have done them today but I have an appointment shortly and this would be about the time they would be going into the oven. I also didn't want to take time from the sewing to bake.  I got the halos done today.  I am quite pleased with how they are turning out.
Have to take a run to Huntsville tomorrow to get some more lace for wings and silver thread-which I thought I had.  Also a few more groceries.  It seems as though you can always buy more food, doesn't it.

Our little dog has been on the wrong side of the door all day.  The sun is shining and it is nice and warm-relatively speaking so she wants to be outside.  Of course, once she is out, she thinks she is missing something and wants back in.  Reminds me of a kitty.

One of our friends has a tiny Maltese Terrier that has developed kidney stones.  The poor thing is in so much pain that it keeps bringing up anything it eats including the medication.  It is now back at the vets where it will be kept overnight.  I feel so bad for it and her owners.

Have to put some more seeds out for the birds.  They are enjoying the tray full I set out the other day when I couldn't get to the feeder.
Hope this warmer weather is a sign of things to come.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ahh. A Good Massage.

Here it is 8.30 at night and I am just getting a few moments to jot down the days happenings.  I had an appointment for a massage this morning.  First I've had in a long time and I really needed it as I have been having back spasms as well as increased pain in my neck where I had the whiplash injury.  The lady was very thorough and, although it was quite painful, it has done me the world of good.  I had so many muscle knots it was no wonder I was having problems.
After lunch, I spent the rest of the day cutting out pieces for the mini quilts.  I have to make a total of 25 tops, 25 skirts, 25 each of halos, faces and hair as well as 50 wings.  Some of the wings have two layers which doubled the pieces on them.  There are a number of colour combination which  all have to be kept straight.  A few notes are keeping everything in order.
I am looking forward to the construction stage to see how they all turn out.  The fabric I ordered for the background came today and is being washed right now.  I always wash my fabric before using so I don't have any nasty surprises with shrinkage or running colours.  I can also assure the customer that their product is washable.
My husband is hoping to start tapping for maple syrup soon as the temperature is supposed to rise.  Supposed being the operative word. The season is late south of us but we don't usually start until the middle of March so, so far, we are on track.